February is crucial month - Mancini

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Roberto Mancini believes the next five games will determine the outcome of Manchester City's season - starting with Tuesday night's clash with Bolton.

The Italian boss suffered his second league defeat in charge of the club on Saturday when the Citizens went down 2-1 at Hull, dealing a blow to their hopes of Champions League football next season. But Mancini remains confident that goal is very much within reach as he targets victory against Bolton and Stoke before tougher challenges against Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham.

"We played very hard and we must continue like the second half against Hull. If we continue in this way we can improve but we must recover all of our players now, this is most important," said Mancini.

"February, this month, is a crucial moment with games against Bolton, Stoke, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham."

Mancini has been frustrated by the number of injuries he has encountered since taking over, particularly in defence, where Vincent Kompany, Micah Richards and Wayne Bridge have all suffered problems, Kolo Toure spent time at the African Nations Cup, while Joleon Lescott is yet to feature for the Italian due to a knee problem.

"I have many players injured and its difficult for me," he said.

"If I have three, four, five players always injured it's a big problem so we want changes in this situation because then we have a good chance to play well both at home and away.

"If we want to arrive at our targets we must also be able to play well away."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Stoke City
Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Kolo Toure
Joleon Lescott
Micah Richards
Hull City

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